Search Engine Marketing Home / Blog article: AEGIS GROUP PLC ACQUIRES I SPY MARKETING LIMITED AND ITS AFFILIATE 4SEARCH LIMITED
iProspect acquires I Spy to become UK’s largest performance marketing agency
Acquisition brings together leading specialists to create performance marketing centre of excellence Deal takes iProspect’s search billings to
£150m, cementing position as the UK’s top search agency
London, 1 August 2012: iProspect, the UK’s fastest-growing performance marketing agency, has today acquired leading digital marketing agency I Spy. The newly enlarged iProspect, with combined search billings of more than £150m, will offer clients the most extensive expertise in performance marketing in the UK.
Led by iProspect Managing Director Ben Wood, the deal will see iProspect’s agency team grow to more than 250 specialists. Clients will include adidas, Vauxhall, Virgin Media and Kellogg’s.
iProspect’s best-in-breed expertise, global clients and expanding footprint in the UK and beyond will be strengthened by the addition of I Spy. The deal will create a powerful offering for clients, fusing both agencies’ expertise with the unique opportunities provided by iProspect and parent company Aegis Media’s global network, including broad global reach, extensive research offering and wider analytics team.
I Spy is a pioneering digital marketing agency that has developed an outstanding reputation for helping brands get the best results through intelligent integration of search, social and mobile marketing. Its specialist expertise, alongside a shared passion for digital, makes it an obvious fit for iProspect. The agency will be fully integrated into iProspect, with the I Spy leadership team, comprising Chris Whitelaw, Jim Brigden, Chris Speed and Nishma Robb, joining iProspect’s senior management team.
The newly expanded agency will work out of iProspect’s 10 Triton Place office. It will also intensify its recruitment programme across the company.
Ben Wood, Managing Director, iProspect said: ‘Our acquisition of I Spy is testament to our ambition and key to our scaling of the iProspect business in the UK. It also builds on our already unprecedented growth and recent expansion in Manchester and Edinburgh. We are extremely proud that this deal makes us the biggest search and performance marketing agency in the UK and we are pleased to extend a warm welcome to our talented new colleagues from I Spy.’
Chris Whitelaw, Founder and President of I Spy Marketing said: ‘By becoming part of iProspect we are looking forward to accelerating our growth and building our offering, while continuing to deliver excellent results and unlocking unprecedented opportunities for staff and clients alike. The chemistry between our two teams, our shared philosophy and passion for digital marketing will provide a solid foundation for a dynamic collaboration and we are very much looking forward to our future at iProspect.’
Jim Brigden, I Spy Marketing Chief Executive, added: ‘This is an exciting time for the I Spy Marketing team and an excellent opportunity to join the Aegis Group, one of the most innovative and rapidly developing media groups globally. As a part of iProspect our team will have greater opportunities to develop their skills and gain broader experience. Our clients will enjoy more resources, even greater opportunities to innovate and a larger team with the same passion for digital marketing as we have at I Spy.’
The acquisition follows iProspect’s recently opened Manchester and Edinburgh offices, demonstrating the growing footprint of the agency and its mounting ambition to grow its business even further across the UK as well as globally as part of the Aegis Media Network.
iProspect has 48 offices around the world with global hubs in London, Boston, Dubai and Singapore. Over 1300 people work for iProspect globally with media billings of $780m. Clients include Disney, Nokia, Adidas, GM, Hilton, Sony and Johnson and Johnson. iProspect is one of Google’s top 3 clients. iProspect is part of Aegis Media one of the world’s top 5 media buying networks, with revenues of £1.1 billion and profits of £200m.
The acquisition is aligned with Aegis Media’s growth strategy for its UK agencies and builds on its successful track record of executing and integrating deals across its UK business and creating value for shareholders.
iProspect is the UK’s fastest growing digital performance marketing specialist across paid and natural search, social, affiliates, display, ad-exchanges, mobile and website optimisation. It is the UK’s biggest search agency, employing more than 170 people and with search billings of more than £100m in 2010. iProspect places data, insight and integration at the heart of its business to drive tangible business results for its clients. iProspect is part of Aegis Media, the media communications business of Aegis Group plc.
About I Spy Marketing
I Spy Marketing is a pioneering digital marketing agency that delivers integrated search, social, display, conversion and mobile campaigns. The agency has developed an outstanding reputation for helping brands to get the best results through intelligent integration of search disciplines, social advertising and insightful analysis of consumer behaviour and data.
I Spy Marketing is a founding member of the IPA’s Search Group which its president Chris Whitelaw currently chairs. Clients include: Vauxhall, Jobsite, Virgin Media, Gap Inc, Endsleigh, SPAM and VisitScotland.
Becky Charles, Head of Corporate, W Communications
T: 07771 508 020 E: Becky@wcommunications.co.uk
I Spy Marketing
Lydia Oakes, PR consultant for I Spy Marketing
T: 01799 543909 E: Lydia@ispymarketing.com
Nishma Robb, Partner, I Spy Marketing
T: 020 7812 6361 E: email@example.com
Aegis Media Group
Joe Rudkin, Head of Communications, Aegis Media
T: 07917 847 102 E: Joe.Rudkin@aemedia.com